Got in a taxi at 5:50am for the 7am start. Figured the 7 mile ride to the start couldn't take long. I was WRONG! Taxi hit mad traffic because the race had already closed lakeshore dr at 31st street. Luckily my driver knew where to go once we got to the exit. I ended up walking .5 mile to the start, slipped into my corral and then the race started literally 5 seconds later. No pre race port a potty stop. No usual pre race ritual this time. At least I was warmed up!
My plan was to just take it "easy". Wonderful, wonderful and I moved to a new apartment this weekend and my calf was bitching about carrying heavy stuff (along with my back and arms...) I also wanted to take it easy because I didnt want to damage myself before the Chicago marathon in 4 weeks. Plus it was on the warm side.
(I know I know. 70 is not warm to most of you, but with 80+% humidity, it was sticky)
So no sooner did I get into the corral (and take a few photos) the race started. Talk about cutting it close! As I was walking up to the start line after the gun went off, I realized my garmin had shut off. So much for being pro active during the .5 mile walk to start by turning it on. I failed to hear it beep saying it was going to power save mode. I crossed the start and began my 13.1 mile journey.
For a split second I thought about running the race "naked" but decided to get the garmin connected again. About 2 minutes later it hooked up to the satellites. I was surprised that my "easy" pace was hovering around 8:35 a mile. I felt fabulous. Every aid station I drank some water and dumped another cup on my neck. The race went up lakeshore dr and then back south. It was never crowded (surprising because of the volume of participants). I saw so many people with red white and blue on and saw several people carrying large American flags- which would prompt the spectators to chant USA USA USA. It made me tear up hearing the patriotism.
(fire truck that responded to the 9/11 attacks in NYC. All of her crew died when the World trade centers collapsed)
The second half of the race was in the sun. It was getting warm, but I just tried to keep the 8:30's feeling comfortable. By mile 11, I saw the race had gone to yellow flag(use caution). All I kept thinking the last 2.1 was Sh*t! Just don't go to red so my time can be recorded. Mile 12 was still yellow so I pushed it in to the finish and was happy to be done.
(seeing this truck gave me chills. It is being restored because it got banged up when the WTC collapsed)
Post half #15
walking through the finish chute I saw military personnel in uniform and ROTC students giving out water and other snacks. I made it a point to say thank you to them not only for the water, but for their service and dedication to ensuring freedom for us.
I found the tent to pick up the "windy city challenge" medal I earned from "finishing" that dreadfully hot black flag 13.1 Chicago half marathon race in June. I love the medals! The Chicago half medal's lanyard has their race logo and also a flag which says "we will never forget" on it. Love it!
A HUGE thank you to the volunteers who were enthusiastic and genuinely happy to be out early on a Sunday morning. You guys were seriously awesome!
I would do this race again. However with oakbrook half, Naperville half, and the Foxvalley half/full all being within a week of each other, I might have to try a race in the burbs next year during the first few weeks of September. Organization, the course, everything was perfect for this race. It really couldn't have been better. (and far exceeded my expectations for a massive race)
Cheers to the Chicago half for putting on a great event!